Someone in the previous thread asked about the Mana Party. I don’t think it has much of a future. Harawira seems like he mostly appeals to younger Maori voters, who have the lowest turnout of any demographic in the country. The rest of the Maori vote is split between Labour and the Maori Party. Say Mana somehow captures all of the Maori Party’s list votes – that’s only an extra 30,000 votes, or about 1% of the total.
Mana also sees itself as a party that wants to appeal to a broader, working-class demographic – but Harawira is almost the worst choice possible to lead such a party. He’s always going to be distracted by identity politics issues. And I think most people understand that there’s little point in voting for a party that can never be part of the government.
I predict the Maori Party will continue to spend the next three years pretending to be outraged about various government policies, while Turia and Sharples draw handsome Ministerial salaries, dispense taxpayer funds to their clients and party donors through vehicles like Whanua Ora, and anticipate their dame/knighthoods once they retire. One or two Maori seats might continue as Peter Dunne-like sinecures, but the remnants will return to Labour in 2014.